Kiplagat finally lands Ksh50m Majors jackpot after Jeptoo ban


World record holder Dennis Kimetto and two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat will lead formidable fields ...
Two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat in a past race. She will lead Kenya's women team in the Doha World Championship.

Two-time World Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat has been confirmed as the 2013-2014 Abbott World Marathon Majors (WMM) winner following the extension of compatriot Rita Jeptoo’s ban for EPO use as she finally get to land the USD500,000 (Ksh50.68m) jackpot that comes with the title.

A press release from WMM confirmed that Kiplagat (2:23:28) who was beaten to second by namesake Florence Kiplagat at the Chicago Marathon on October 9 has officially won the eight edition of the biennial elite marathon circuit competition.

“We can now finally say that justice has been served and that Edna Kiplagat has received the recognition she deserves,” said AbbottWMM general manager Tim Hadzima.

Kiplagat was awarded the AbbottWMM title following the decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold the IAAF appeal that banned Jeptoo from October 30, 2014 and all her results from April 17, 2014 annulled.

Therefore, her Boston and Chicago victories that saw her become the first ever athlete to score the maximum WMM tally of 100 were chalked off and to the AbbottWMM code of conduct, Jeptoo will receive a lifetime ban from its six marathons of Tokyo, London, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York.

“We are disappointed that due process took so long but we are delighted that at last we are able to acknowledge Edna Kiplagat,”

“We will continue to work with the IAAF and other organizations to facilitate our extensive additional out-of-competition testing program for marathon runners, and to do all that we can to reach our goal of eradicating doping,” Hadzema added.

Speaking to Citizen Digital on Thursday morning her elated coach and husband, Gilbert Koech hailed the decision.

“It has raised the self-esteem of all athletes that if you run clean, you will get your due. Finally, justice has been followed and we are happy.

“Someone who has been working hard for this like Edna deserves to get her win after losing twice, once to (Liliya) Shobkhova and now Rita, so finally she has received the gift of winning the World Marathon Majors,” Koech stated.

“As a coach, it is also encouraging to know I have produced a world champion twice and now a Majors winner,” he added.

Kiplagat joins Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang at the top of the AbbottWMM Series VIII leader board.

The two athletes amassed the most points based on finishes in a two-year series, which included the 2013 Tokyo, Boston, Virgin London, Berlin, Chicago and New York, the 2013 IAAF World Championships, and the 2014 Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York.

Kiplagat, like Kipsang, wins a prize purse of $500,000 (Ksh50.68m).

A veteran of AbbottWMM races, Kiplagat finished top of the AbbottWMM rankings via a first place finish at the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon, and a gold medal win for the marathon at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

“Every marathon runner dreams of winning this title,” Kiplagat said. “It means so much to me and my family.”

Kiplagat, who set her personal best of 2:19:50 in the London Marathon, is a parent to four children and juggles an extensive training schedule amidst running a household and a working farm that produces a wide variety of animals and produce.

She has said her family is her true focus, and has shared in the past that her racing victories can be attributed to the support from her children and husband Gilbert Koech.

-Additional reporting by Mutwiri Mutuota

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